Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesVisual ArtsPainting · 1 decade ago

Best Solvent For Oil-Paint.?

I am looking for a strong paint solvent for oil-based paint. I am an artist and need to cut some expenses. I like a good drippy, flowing consistency. So, how different are products like

Turpentine - Pure Gum, Mineral Spirits, VM & P Naptha. I would image I want something strong (sometimes I do exterior pieces), but not really sure what the differences between the solvents are.

Thanks a lot.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    If you want to cut costs, buy the cheapest. The store brand pure gum will cut through paint better than the others, but it is more toxic if inhaled, which is less important if you are working in an outdoors, in a well ventilated area (but to be safe, wear a mask... they are probably easy to find these days with all the swine flu hysteria).

    Odorless Mineral spirits are less toxic and volatile which means they cut through the paint a little less aggressively, but are not as harmful when inhaled (though they are still very bad for you). I personally like to use Gamsol, which works well with Damar varnish and other mediums traditionally only used with pure gum turpentine.

    If you are using paint that is full of solvent outdoors, it's a good idea to varnish the work when you're done. Adding solvents to your paint destabilizes the molecules and will never wear as well as more pure paints.

    There are lots of ways to thin your paints and clean up you materials that use no solvents at all, and are thus, far less bad for your health. You can add any variety of oil to your paint to extend it, and can also use oil as a brush cleaner. Oil is a material that really attracts similar molecules, so a few dips and wipes of you brush into any cheap cooking oil will get almost all the paint out. A rinse with some water and Dawn dish soap will remove the rest.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think its just a matter of how quickly you want the paint to dry. For instance, Linseed Oil would take a looong time to dry, Boiled Linseed Oil dries quicker but still takes a long time. The three you list dry much quicker.

  • 4 years ago

    I suggest to all my students to use Turpenoid, a turpentine substitute in the blue can. It is odorless and with 12 in a class it's impossible to smell any odor. After scraping off chunks of oil on the palette they use their old dirty Turpenoid to clean their palette, repeating until clean.

  • 1 decade ago

    I buy odorless mineral spirits by the gallon at home depot for about 10 bucks.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Dawn dish soap is good for cleaning your brush out I use it once in a while

  • 1 decade ago

    Ketchup works great

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.